As the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta we challenge ourselves and the world to love like Jesus as we worship joyfully, serve compassionately, and grow spiritually. In order to grow the ways in which we serve compassionately, we’ve established the Innovations in Ministry Fund.
Thanks to some generous worshipping communities around the Diocese who are contributing above their 10% Fair Share assessment, we have seed money in the form of matching grants for innovations in ministry and missional initiatives.
What Makes a Ministry Innovation?
1) The undertaking of a non-traditional ministry enterprise
2) by members of the Diocese of Atlanta (convocation(s), parish(es), or other worshipping community(ies), or individuals)
3) in partnership with others both inside and outside the diocese (who say it with cash and in-kind contributions)
4) for the express purpose of engaging with people and communities in order to equip, serve, and heal the world
5) among people not presently members of any parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
6) introducing concepts and practices that are new to a community, new to the diocese, or some combination thereof and
7) with the potential to become sustainable (i.e., self-supporting) within three years.
So, a ministry innovation can be new work in a familiar place or new work in a new-to-us place.
And it’s work that some folks agree together needs to be done and that they are willing to do.
It’s also work that requires Episcopalians to serve alongside non-Episcopalian neighbors for the common good.
A ministry innovation is not an idea--even a good idea--that Episcopalians have dreamed up to deliver to their community without consulting with the community.
It’s service alongside community members and ministry partners, not “charity” and not “help.”
It should have the potential for mutual transformation and growth--of all involved.
It doesn’t have to reach huge numbers of people, but it does need to connect us to people who are not currently served by any ministry connected to the Diocese of Atlanta.
It isn’t a liturgical offering (such as a worship service) unless it’s a liturgical offering connecting us to new-to-us people.
It’s a well-designed experiment in ministry that has built-in ways of measuring (metrics) how we will know if the experiment is successful.
It has a detailed budget for all expenses and firm commitment from other individuals and groups for cash and in-kind contributions that can be matched by Innovations in Ministry Fund grants.
The Diocese of Atlanta is the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement in Middle and North Georgia. There are 56,000 of of us, and the geographic area we are particularly responsible for and to comprises 75.5 counties.
Of those 75.5 counties, there are 29 where we have no consistent Episcopal presence or witness. That’s 39% of our territory where we are conspicuous by our absence.
Is God calling you to a new thing in one of those 29 counties?
Or is the Holy Spirit whispering to you an idea about something new in the context where you currently live and serve?
What’s your idea for getting the church (the people of God) outside the building(s)?